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Magnet Warnings and Recalls

Sobeauty recalls 'Mag Cube' magnetic ball sets

The magnet sets violate the federal standard for children’s toys

Sobeauty of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., is recalling about 600 “Mag Cube” magnetic ball sets.

The magnet sets contain high-powered magnets and violate the federal standard for children’s toys.

When two or more high-powered magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside a child’s intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death.

Internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.

While no incid...

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    Panelcraft recalls children’s building sets

    Exposed magnets can create a choking hazard

    Panelcraft of Dearborn, Mich., is recalling about 2,000 children’s magnetic building sets.

    The building sets corner welds can break, allowing the panels and frames to separate and release magnets during play. When released, exposed magnets can create a choking hazard.

    No incidents or injuries are reported.

    This recall involves two styles of Panelcraft Rainbow magnetic building sets: Rainbow Dream Builder and Rainbow Solid Builder.

    The solid builder set includes 19 pieces: 11 solid panels in red, yellow, green, blue and purple and 8 white windows that measure 9 inches by 9 inches.

    The rainbow dream builder set includes 19 windows in red, yellow, green, blue and purple colors that measure 9 inches by 9 inches.

    The building sets, manufactured in China, were sold at Discount School Supply, Kaplan Early Learning Company, Panelcraft and Tout About Toys from November 2016, through January 2017, for between $120 and $150.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled building sets and take them away from children. Contact the firm to receive a prepaid shipping label for returning the recalled sets for a free replacement set including shipping.

    Consumers may contact Panelcraft toll-free at 888-288-7615 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or online at www.panelcraft.com and click on Contact Us for more information.

    Panelcraft of Dearborn, Mich., is recalling about 2,000 children’s magnetic building sets.The building sets corner welds can break, allowing the panels...

    Cinmar recalls World Magnetic Travel Maps

    If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together causing intestinal obstructions

    Cinmar LLC of West Chester, Ohio, is recalling about 4,500 travel maps with magnets.

     

    If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside the intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. Internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.

     

    No incidents or injuries have been reported.

     

    This recall involves World Magnetic Travel Maps with a burlwood frame. The world maps measure 54 inches wide and 36 inches tall and come with 50 magnetic markers. The maps affected by this recall have item number 145684 printed on the packaging.

     

    The maps, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively at Frontgate retail and outlet stores and online at www.frontgate.com from October 2015, through March 2016, for about $225.

     

    What to do

     

    Consumers should immediately stop using the magnetic markers that came with the product, keep them out of reach of children and dispose of them or recycle them. Cinmar is contacting consumers who purchased the products directly and will provide instructions on how to receive replacement magnets.

     

    Consumers may contact Cinmar toll-free at 888-263-9850 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or online at www.frontgate.com and click on “Safety Recall Notices” at the bottom of the page for more information.

     

     

    Cinmar LLC of West Chester, Ohio, is recalling about 4,500 travel maps with magnets.   If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together i...

    Star Networks USA recalls Magnicubes

    It's part of a settlement with the CPSC

    Star Networks USA of West New York, N.J., is recalling all Magnicube Spheres and Magnicube Cubes as part of the settlement of an administrative case filed by CPSC staff in December 2012.

    The case sought a mandatory recall of the Magnicube products, which have produced numerous incident reports of ingestions involving small, high-powered magnets -- including many that required surgery

    The recall is intended to protect children and teenagers from the deadly risk of injury that can occur when more than one magnet is ingested.

    Consumers are urged immediately stop use of all Magnicube Spheres and Magnicube Cubes immediately and check for magnets that have become separated from the set.

    Magnicube Spheres and Magnicube Cubes sets contain from 125 to 1,027 high-powered rare earth magnets and were made in China. About 22,000 sets were sold for between $20 and $80 on magnicube.com, Amazon.com and via Groupon.

    Refunds coming

    Star has agreed to provide a full refund to consumers who return a full set of Magnicube Cubes or Magnicube Spheres. Consumers who return less than a full set will receive a prorated refund based on the percentage of magnets returned.

    Consumers should contact the firm at www.magnicube.com to request a refund.

    The settlement resolves CPSC staff’s allegations that the Magnicube Spheres and Magnicube Cubes create a substantial product hazard. Star disputed these allegations, but has agreed to the recall in settlement of the allegations in the complaint.

    Star Networks USA of West New York, N.J., is recalling all Magnicube Spheres and Magnicube Cubes as part of the settlement of an administrative case filed ...

    Buckyball and Buckycube refunds now available

    The high powered magnets pose a deadly risk

    If you own Buckyballs and/or Buckycubes you have a refund coming. These loose, high powered magnets pose a deadly risk to young children, tweens, and teens, if ingested.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to immediately stop using these loose, high powered magnets, which pose a deadly risk to young children, tweens, and teens, if ingested and visit BuckyballsRecall.com to request a refund.

    The website has an online registration page to file a claim that is active and easy for consumers to use. Consumers may receive a refund no greater than the purchase price of the product, and partial refunds may be provided depending on the number of magnets returned.

    Consumers have until January 17, 2015 to submit requests to the Trustee for refunds.

    If you own Buckyballs and/or Buckycubes you have a refund coming. These loose, high powered magnets pose a deadly risk to young children, tweens, and teen...

    Buckyballs, Buckycubes recalled ... again

    The tiny magnets can be deadly if swallowed by children

    Another round of Buckyball and Buckycube recalls is getting underway, in an attempt to curtail serious injuries to children who swallow the small but powerful magnets.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it has reached a settlement with Craig Zucker, the former CEO and President of the company that manufactured Buckyballs and Buckycubes, Maxfield and Oberton, which was dissolved in 2012.

    The bb-shaped smooth balls and cubes connect to one another with a strong magnetic bond. The magnets are individual balls or cubes that are sold in packages of many individual balls. They were originally sold as toys to children over 13 years of age, but after a recall in 2010, they are sold only to consumers age14 and older.

    But the CPSC said the new warning label that has appeared on the package of Buckyballs since the 2010 recall has not resulted in a decrease in serious injuries to children. In November of 2011, CPSC issued a safety warning to consumers about this product but the injuries continue to occur. In July of 2012, CPSC filed a lawsuit against that resulted in the settlement announced earlier this week.

    The magnets are of great interest to children of all ages: younger children mistakenly believe they are candy while older children use these products as faux facial piercings. The consequences of inhaling or swallowing more than one of the magnets can be severe. Children are at risk of developing serious injuries such as small holes in the stomach and intestines, intestinal blockage, blood poisoning, and even death.

    Removing magnets surgically often requires the repair of the child’s damaged stomach and intestines. In the past, physicians have likened the internal damage caused by magnets to that of a bullet wound.

    “We applaud the recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes. High powered magnets have caused serious injuries to children. These incidents should not happen and can be prevented,” stated Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and senior counsel with Consumer Federation of America. “It is critical to get these products off of the market, out of people’s homes and away from children who could be harmed by ingesting two or more of these balls or cubes.”

    Consumers will have six months to participate in the recall by requesting a refund. The recall trust will be funded by Craig Zucker and will be overseen by the CPSC.

    It is illegal under federal law for any person to sell, offer for sale, manufacture, distribute in commerce, or import into the United States any Buckyballs or Buckycubes.

    Another round of Buckyball and Buckycube recalls is getting underway, in an attempt to curtail serious injuries to children who swallow the small but power...

    Discount School Supply recalls sorting boards

    A problem with magnets in the board can pose a choking hazard

    Discount School Supply of Monterey, Calif., is recalling about 3,700 Excellerations magnetic color sorting boards.

    The magnet in the wand can detach and the plywood backing can crack and release small metal balls that are sandwiched between the board and a clear plastic cover. These pose choking and serious internal injury risks associated with ingestion of a magnet and metal ball. Additionally, the surface paint on the metal balls contains levels of lead that exceed the federal lead paint standard.

    The company has received six reports of the plywood backing cracking and making the small metal balls accessible to children, and two reports of the magnet detaching from the wand. No injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves Excellerations magnetic color sorting boards with cupcake cut-outs that are used to teach color and sorting to young children. The recalled sorting board is made of plywood and is 16 inches wide and 12 inches high and has the Excellerations name and logo on the front in the bottom right corner.

    A clear plastic cover is attached to the board by rivets and a 4-inch long wand with a magnet in one end is attached to the top of the board by a 13.5-inch plastic cord. The face of the board has one jar-shaped cut-out and six cupcake-shaped cut-outs that are colored red, yellow, blue, green, orange and purple.

    Beneath the cover are about 60 multi-colored metal balls, each 1 centimeter in diameter. Children use the wand to move the balls around the board through channels from the jar to the cupcakes.

    The boards, manufactured in China, were sold at discountschoolsupply.com from January 2013, through March 2014, for about $36.

    Consumers should immediately stop children from using the recalled board, put it out of their reach and sight, and contact the company for a full refund.

    Consumers may contact Discount School Supply at (800) 338-4430 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

    Discount School Supply of Monterey, Calif., is recalling about 3,700 Excellerations magnetic color sorting boards. The magnet in the wand can detach and t...

    Design Ideas recalls magnets

    The small magnets can easily detach from the product, posing a swallowing hazard

    Design Ideas Ltd., of Springfield, Ill., is recalling about 21,000 Design Ideas and Neatlife Rubber Ducky Magnets, 3,200 Design Ideas Blowfish, and 2,000 Splat Magnets.

    The small magnets can easily detach from the product. If swallowed, magnets can link together inside a child's intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. Internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.

    No incidents or injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves miniature office and refrigerator magnets sold in the shape of a duck, blowfish and a splat. A small magnet is affixed to the underside of the brightly colored plastic objects which were sold in sets of four or six. Model number 3205121 (duck), 993205114 (duck), 3205122 (blowfish) or 3205078 (splat) is printed on the bottom of the packaging. “Magnets” and the Design Ideas’ logo are printed on the front of the package.

    All the magnets were manufactured in China. Rubber ducky magnets were sold at Nordstrom’s Rack stores, novelty and gift stores, book stores and art stores nationwide from March 2007, through September 2013, for about $10. Blowfish magnets were sold at novelty and gift stores, book stores and art stores nationwide from March 2007, through March 2011, for about $10. Splat magnets were sold at CB2 stores, novelty and gift stores, office supply stores and art stores nationwide from November 2012, to February 2014, for about $10.

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled magnets place them out of reach of children and contact Design Ideas for a refund.

    Consumers may contact Design Ideas at (800) 426-6394 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

    Design Ideas Ltd., of Springfield, Ill., is recalling about 21,000 Design Ideas and Neatlife Rubber Ducky Magnets, 3,200 Design Ideas Blowfish, and 2,000Sp...

    Safety advocates want ban on novelty magnets

    Children can be harmed or killed by swallowing the magnets, pediatricians warn

    Doctors and safety advocates are pressing for a ban on high-powered novelty and toy magnets, arguing that strong regulation is the only way to prevent children from swallowing the magnets, which can bind together in the digestive system and cause serious injury or death.

    They testified yesterday at a public hearing called by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is considering rules that would prohibit the sale of high-powered magnet sets. The rule would apply to magnets that fit within the CPSC’s small parts cylinder and have a flux index (or strength) of more than 50.  

    The CPSC took action in response to a growing number of documented pediatric ingestions of magnets from magnet sets.

    "CFA strongly supports CPSC's determination that there is an unreasonable risk of injury associated with children ingesting high powered magnets," stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and Senior Counsel at Consumer Federation of America. "Data from CPSC and from pediatric gastroenterologists across the country documents the serious medical consequences that occur as a result of a child ingesting more than one high powered magnet. The unique properties of these magnets compel a regulatory solution such as the one CPSC has proposed, that would protect children from the severe consequences of ingesting more than one of these magnets."

    Buckyballs, Zen Magnets

    High-powered magnet sets, marketed under names such as Buckyballs and Zen Magnets, are comprised of tiny high-powered magnet balls or cubes, often with 200 or more magnets to a set. When more than two magnets are swallowed, their attractive force (flux) allows them to find each other across or between different segments of the bowel.

    For example, connections can occur between the stomach and the small intestine, between the small intestine and the colon, or across loops of bowel. When this happens, the result can be bowel perforation, fistulization (unnatural connections of the bowel), or tissue death (necrosis).

    The danger is heightened by the difficultly of a timely diagnosis.  Ingestion of magnets does not result in immediate symptoms, so there can be a marked delay in diagnosis and treatment, yet injury can occur in as little as eight hours.  When symptoms do occur, they are non-specific (abdominal pain, fever, vomiting) and may resemble other common ailments.

    High-powered magnets are not like other small foreign objects that children typically swallow, experts testifying the hearing said.  According to a 2012 study by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), nearly 80 percent of high-powered magnet ingestions cases require endoscopic or surgical intervention. Comparatively, only 10 to 20 percent of other foreign body ingestions require endoscopic removal and less than 1 percent require surgery.

    “Actions taken to date by the Commission appropriately reflect the risk of significant and life-threatening injury that these magnet products pose to children," said Athos Bousvaros, M.D., NASPGHAN president. "There is nothing worse as a physician than treating a child with a preventable injury.  High-powered magnet ingestions are 100 percent avoidable if they are not available, which means banning their sale and doing everything possible to remove products already sold from any environment where children live, visit, play or learn."

     

    Doctors and safety advocates are pressing for a ban on high-powered novelty and toy magnets, arguing that strong regulation is the only way to prevent chil...

    Adobe recalls high-powered magnets

    When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside the intestines

    Adobe of San Jose, Calif., is recalling about 500 high-powered magnets distributed with Adobe Connect “Effective Collaboration is Magnetic” promotional materials packages.

    When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside the intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. Internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.

    The firm has received no reports of incidents or injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 80 reports of incidents involving ingestion of other high powered magnets, resulting in 79 reports seeking medical intervention.

    This recall involves high-powered magnet sets distributed with Adobe “Effective Collaboration is Magnetic” promotional materials. The promotional materials were distributed in a green box with a black lid and contain 12 high-powered magnets which are magnetically affixed to a laminated green cardboard sheet. The spherical silver magnets are about 5 millimeter in diameter. The text “With Adobe Connect it all just clicks” is printed in a circular shape around the magnets.

    The magnets, manufactured in China, were distributed nationwide by Adobe as part of a promotional package for its “Adobe Connect” product during November 2012 at no cost to consumers.

    Consumers should immediately stop using the magnets and either discard them or contact Adobe for instructions on returning the magnets.

    Consumers may contact Adobe Recall collect at (503) 382-8500 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, ET.

    Adobe of San Jose, Calif., is recalling about 500 high-powered magnets distributed with Adobe Connect “Effective Collaboration is Magnetic” promotional mat...

    Six retailers recall Buckyballs and Buckycubes

    These products contain defects that pose a substantial risk of injury and death

    Six retailers are recalling all Buckyballs and Buckycubes high-powered magnet sets, as they contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions that pose a substantial risk of injury and death to children and teenagers.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 54 reports of children and teens ingesting this product, with 53 of these requiring medical interventions.

    Imported by Maxfield & Oberton LLC, of New York, Buckyballs and Buckycubes consist of sets of numerous, small, high-powered magnets. These sets vary in the number of magnets included and come in a variety of colors. Individual magnets in the set are about 5 millimeters in diameter. Individual magnets in Buckyballs are spherical and individual magnets in Buckycubes are cube-shaped.

    About three million sets of Buckyballs and Buckycubes have been sold in U.S. retail stores nationwide and online since 2010 for between $5 and $100.

    What to do

    Consumers should take the high-powered magnet sets and all associated individual magnets away from children and teenagers and contact the retailer from which they purchased the product to obtain instructions for their remedy:

    Legal action

    These retailers have agreed to participate because Maxfield & Oberton has refused to participate in the recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes.

    In July 2012, CPSC staff filed an administrative complaint against Maxfield & Oberton Holdings LLC, of New York, N.Y., after discussions with the company and its representatives failed to result in a voluntary recall plan that CPSC staff considered to be adequate to address the very serious hazard posed by these products. This type of legal action against a company is rare, as CPSC has filed only four administrative complaints in the past 11 years.

    Six retailers are recalling all Buckyballs and Buckycubes high-powered magnet sets, as they contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions that p...

    Kringles Toys and Gifts recalls high-powered magnets

    The magnets pose a risk of serious injury if ingested

    Kringle Toys and Gifts of American Fork, UT, is recalling about 4,200 Nanospheres magnetic desk toys.

    If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside a child's intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. Internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.

    The firm has received no reports of incidents or injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 80 reports of incidents involving ingestion of other high powered magnets, resulting in 79 reports seeking medical intervention.

    The products were sold for use as an adult novelty item or desk toy with appropriate hazard warnings, stating the intended age level as 14 years and older. Nanospheres is a mass of 231 small powerful magnets that are either silver, gold or black in color. Each magnet is about 5mm in diameter. The magnets come in a circular metal canister approximately 2.5 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches tall with a black and blue label displaying the product name “Nanospheres.”

    The magnets, manufactured in China, were sold at Amazon.com from November 2010 through December 2011 for about $25 to $30.

    Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact the company to arrange for return and a full refund.

    Consumers may contact Kringles toll-free at (888) 801-1649 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or by e-mail at customerservice@kringlestoysandgifts.com.

    Kringle Toys and Gifts of American Fork, UT, is recalling about 4,200 Nanospheres magnetic desk toys. If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link ...

    New Federal Standard for High-Powered Magnet Sets in the Works

    The sets pose a sever risk to kids' health

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted 4 to 0 to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at developing a new federal standard for small, high-powered magnet sets. 

    CPSC staff estimates that small, high powered magnet sets were associated with 1,700 emergency room-treated injuries between 2009 and 2011. The majority of injuries (70 percent) have been to children 4 to 12 years of age. 

    Many of these magnet sets are marketed as sculptures, puzzles, and stress relievers and are labeled not for use by children. However, CPSC staff believes these magnet sets have strong appeal to children and pose a potential for high-severity injuries. 

    Danger to kids 

    If swallowed, these magnets can link together inside a child's intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. Internal damage from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects. 

    The proposed mandatory standard would set performance requirements for magnet sets based on their size and strength. Magnet sets that do not meet the performance requirement could not be sold as a manipulative or a desk toy. 

    The proposed rule has a 75 day public comment period.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted 4 to 0 to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at developing a new federal standard for...

    Zen Magnets Sued Over 'Hazardous, High-Powered' Magnetic Balls

    Action is prompted by continuing harm to children from ingested magnets

    In what it calls an effort to “prevent children from suffering further harm,” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has filed an administrative complaint today against Zen Magnets LLC, of Denver, alleging that their products contain defects in the design, packaging, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury to the public. 

    The complaint seeks -- among other things -- an order that the firm stop selling Zen Magnets Rare Earth Magnet Balls, notify the public of the defect and offer consumers a full refund. 

    Eleven manufacturers and importers of sets of small, powerful, individual magnets, all of which are made in China, have voluntarily agreed to the CPSC staff's requests that they stop the manufacture, import, distribution and sale of their magnet products. Zen Magnets and Maxfield & Oberton (importer of Buckyballs and Buckycubes) are the only companies that have refused to comply, to date. 

    Zen Magnets are powerful, chrome-plated, rare earth magnet balls about 5 millimeters in diameter that are made in China and sold online in sets of 72, 216, and 1,728. 

    Swallowing hazard 

    The complaint explains that when two or more magnets are swallowed, they can pinch or trap the intestinal walls or other digestive tissue between them resulting in acute and long-term health consequences. Magnets that attract through the intestines result in progressive tissue injury. 

    Such conditions can lead to infection, sepsis and possibly death. Medical professionals may not be aware of the dangers posed by ingestion and the corresponding need for immediate medical intervention in such cases, exacerbating the life-threatening internal injuries. 

    According to the complaint, CPSC has received reports of tweens and teenagers using similar products to mimic piercings of the tongue, lip or cheek, which have resulted in incidents where the product is unintentionally inhaled and swallowed. 

    Advertising 

    The complaint alleges that in 2009 and 2010, the firm advertised and marketed the product as "fun to play with" strong rare earth magnets that "look good on cute people." It further alleges that in October 2011, the staff notified the firm that the product did not comply with the federal mandatory toy standard, ASTM Standard F963-08. The standard requires that such magnets not be marketed for children younger than 14. 

    The complaint also alleges that the firm included a small slip of paper in some of the models that read: "Warning: DO NOT SWALLOW MAGNETS. How old do you have to be to play with these? Dunno. 14 years old in the U.S. for a strong magnetic toy, unless it's not a toy, then no age limit, but they're fun magnets spheres (sic), aren't they a toy? Unless it's a "science kit" then the government age recommendation is 8+. But really, it's whatever age at which a person stops swallowing non-foods." 

    In 2011, Zen Magnets began to advertise their product as a "magnetic science kit." While the packaging warns that "strong magnets can cause fatal intestinal pinching," and advises to "keep away from kids and pets who don't understand these dangers," it also cautions consumers to "place swallowing magnets on your don't do list along with breathing water, drinking poison, and running into traffic." 

    The complaint notes that recently, the firm posted on its Website that "CPSC recommends minimum age of 14." 

    Defective warning 

    CPSC staff says in its complaint that Zen Magnets warning and labeling are defective because they do not effectively communicate the hazard associated with ingestion of the product. The complaint further alleges that the product's design and packaging are also defective because they fail to prevent children from gaining access to the product, and do not allow parents or caregivers to know readily if a magnet is missing and is potentially within the reach of a young child. 

    The complaint contends that once separated from the packaging, the individual magnets themselves display no warning against ingestion or aspiration, and the small size of the individual magnets precludes the addition of such a warning. 

    The commission staff proposed the administrative complaint against Zen Magnets after discussions with the company failed to result in a voluntary recall plan that CPSC staff considered adequate. 

    In what it calls an effort to “prevent children from suffering further harm,” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has filed an administrat...

    Maker of Magnetic Toys Sued

    Action prompted by continuing harm to children from swallowed magnets

    There was a good reason for your mom to tell you not to put your toys in your mouth: they can hurt you. 

    In an effort to prevent children from suffering further harm, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has filed an administrative complaint against Maxfield & Oberton Holdings LLC, of New York, alleging that Buckyballs and Buckycubes contain a defect in the design, packaging, warnings, and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury to the public. 

    The complaint seeks -- among other things-- an order that the firm stop selling Buckyballs and Buckycubes, notify the public of the defect, and offer consumers a full refund. 

    Stopping sales 

    In response to a request from CPSC staff, a number of retailers have voluntarily agreed to stop selling Buckyballs, Buckycubes, and similar products manufactured by other companies. 

    CPSC staff called upon these retailers to cease distribution of high-powered, manipulative magnetic products after dozens of young children and teenagers swallowed multiple magnets, which connected inside their gastrointestinal tracts and caused internal injuries requiring surgery. eBay has also agreed to implement steps to remove listings by sellers for these items. 

    Voluntary recall plan fails 

    The commission staff filed the administrative complaint against Maxfield & Oberton after discussions with the company and its representatives failed to result in a voluntary recall plan that considered to be adequate. This type of legal action against a company is rare; this is only the second administrative complaint filed by CPSC in the past 11 years. 

    In May 2010, CPSC and Maxfield & Oberton announced a cooperative recall of about 175,000 Buckyball high powered magnets sets, because they were labeled “Ages 13+” and did not meet the federal mandatory toy standard, F963-08. The standard requires that such powerful loose as received magnets not be sold for children younger than 14. 

    The Buckyballs and Buckycubes sets contain up to 216 powerful rare earth magnets. 

    Multiple injuries 

    At the time of the 2010 recall, Maxfield & Oberton was aware of two reports of children swallowing one or more magnets without injury. Subsequent to the recall, CPSC staff continued to receive reports of children ingesting the product and learned of incidents in which children had suffered injuries when the magnets attracted to each other through the victim’s gastrointestinal tract. In subsequent months, staff learned of one dozen surgeries, including numerous surgeries that involved Buckyballs. 

    In November 2011, CPSC and Maxfield & Oberton worked cooperatively to inform and educate consumers that Buckyballs were intended for adult use only, and although the risk scenarios differ by age group, the danger when multiple rare earth magnets are ingested is the same. However, even after the safety alert, ingestions and injuries continued to occur. 

    Since 2009, CPSC staff has learned of more than two dozen ingestion incidents, with at least one dozen involving Buckyballs. Surgery was required in many of incidents. The commission staff alleges in its complaint that it has concluded that despite the attempts to warn purchasers, warnings and education are ineffective and cannot prevent injuries and incidents with these rare earth magnets. 

    CPSC has received reports of toddlers finding loose magnets left within reach and placing them in their mouths. It can be extremely difficult for a parent to tell if any of the tiny magnets are missing from a set. In some of the reported incidents, toddlers have accessed loose magnets left on a refrigerator and other parts of the home. 

    Serious consequences

    Use of the product by tweens and teenagers to mimic piercings of the tongue, lip or cheek has resulted in incidents where the product is unintentionally inhaled and swallowed. These ingestion incidents occur when children receive it as a gift or gain access to the product in their homes or from friends. 

    When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can attract to one another through the stomach and intestinal walls, resulting in serious injuries, such as holes in the stomach and intestines, intestinal blockage, blood poisoning and possibly death. Medical professionals may not diagnose the need for immediate medical intervention in such cases, resulting in worsening of the injuries. 

    Due to the number of ingestion incidents received by CPSC staff since the 2010 recall announcement and 2011 safety alert, CPSC staff seeks the remedies outlined in the complaint to stop further incidents and injuries to children.

    In an effort to prevent children from suffering further harm, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has filed an administrative complaint ht...